Sometimes your mind is like a room with steel bars on the windows. You’re retreating into a corner, dragging your hand across the wall. There’s something at the door and it moves toward you. Sometimes it’s just a mass of pain – a tumour of pointed teeth, flailing arms, black claws. Sometimes it has a flat, almost-human face and a reptilian body. Sometimes it’s a beautiful, beautiful man – so beautiful that you really have to wonder whether or not you ought to begrudge him what he is about to do to you.
And then there are the other times – the times that you are balancing on a marble ledge. An entire city twinkles warmly below you, but you know, with horrible certainty that you will find no home in it. The city is surrounded by a wilderness, and that’s where the wolves howl.
Sometimes you’re in a shed behind a wooden izba. There’s warm summer rain drumming on the roof. A Nazi in a mud-splattered uniform is methodically oiling his gun.
But the worst is listening to someone drown in pitch-black darkness, and not being able to do anything about it.